Fillin’ The Tank

Dove season had just opened in the south zone, and having nothing special to do that Saturday, Layla and I decided we’d run down to Crystal City for a hunt. We could be back to our home in Cypress before midnight and then, gas was only around $.60 a gallon!

Our plan was to find a shady spot around the stock tank and ambush the Doves when they came into water. This was a great plan, but arriving at our lease and driving into the stock tank, we found it completely dry! We were pacing around and worrying about what to do when Eldred Lawrence drove up. He too had made identical plans as ours and couldn’t understand why, or how, the tank had dried up so fast.

Walking around and worrying, no shooting yet since it was a good hour before the Doves would water, I noticed a 2 inch hose and curiously followed it to a large pump with an electric motor. The pump was directly wired to an incoming 220 line and beside it was a switch on a fuse box.

Quickly adding 2+2 and getting a solution, I would see if the pump worked and if it would pump water. Hollering for El and Layla to come over, I flipped the switch, the motor hummed the hose “bowed up” and out came water into the tank!

Saying, “Why don’t we just run this hose for and hour or so, until the birds come around, then we can turn it off?” My fellow hunters agreed.

El walked across the tank from us and sat his stool in the dappled shade of a mesquite tree. Layla and I spaced apart and followed suit. The pump kept pumping and soon we had enough water in the bottom of the tank to make a difference. As the pump pumped and the water gushed, the first flight of Doves came zipping in and tried to land in a dead mesquite next to El.

Rising up, he fired, bam, bam, bam and one Dove tumbled down. Here came another bunch toward Layla and I and we knocked down 3. Running over to the switch, I flipped it off as El whirled around and fired away from the tank and the bird tumbled into the brush. He got up to go retrieve it and I returned to my vigil.

“Son of a gun!” Boom, boom, boom, both El and his 12 gauge, autoloader barked. I didn’t see any birds, so I thought a predator perhaps. He called to us, “Jon, Layla, come over and see this rattler.”

Walking over to him, several pieces of a large Rattle Snake were laying 3 or 4 feet from the downed, Dove. We figured the snake made a serious mistake and thought he had found an easy meal.

We had an excellent hunt and in a little over an hour, ended up with 3 limits and no more snakes,. Any bird that fell outside of the tank was carefully retrieved and, during the retrieve, all eyes were firmly locked on the ground!